A ‘miracle’ he got out of Bastrop, La. kill pen

When Bev Strauss of MidAtlantic Horse Rescue saw this picture of A Miracle’s On, she moved heaven and earth to save him from the Bastrop, La. kill pen.

When Bev Strauss of MidAtlantic Horse Rescue saw this picture of A Miracle’s On, she moved heaven and earth to save him from the Bastrop, La. kill pen.

A ratty chestnut gelding who by a stroke of luck was able to catch a ride out of the Bastrop kill pen in Louisiana, and be spared the slaughterhouse, has found a great home since his grand appearance at a Kentucky horse show last year.

A Miracle’s On, a 3-year-old gelding rescued by MidAtlantic Horse Rescue last summer. Since competing in the trail ride competition, dragging logs, and winning hearts at the Kentucky Horse Park last year, he has become a show prospect for a young girl, says Bev Strauss of MidAtlantic Horse Rescue.

Last year, A Miracle’s On competed in the Retired Racehorse Project’s Thoroughbred Makeover show and moved onto a great life following his rescue from from a Louisiana kill pen. Back then, he looked nothing like the horse he has become. And his future seemed dire.

A Miracle’s On
Barn name: Mo
Sire: In a Walk
Dam: My Foriels On
Foal date: May 12, 2012
“It was a miracle that we got this horse out of the kill pen and onto our trailer,” says Strauss, explaining that last-minute details that can bottleneck a negotiation were handled in record time with help from friends who pulled out all the stops to get A Miracle’s On added to a shipment of rescued Thoroughbreds.

It just as easily could have been a ride to the slaughterhouse, says Strauss, who notes that A Miracle’s On was saved only by fluke.

Strauss had already arranged to purchase three other Thoroughbreds with funds that had been bequeathed to her charity for the purpose of horse rescue, and with additional funding raised by a community of her supporters to ship them north. And after everything was in order—the horse dealer had been paid, the shipper had been hired, and the trailer was on its way—A Miracle’s On appeared at the kill pen, and across Strauss’s radar.

After removing this meat sticker, the MidAtlantic Horse Rescue plans to reveal the show horse beneath.

After removing this meat sticker, the MidAtlantic Horse Rescue plans to reveal the show horse beneath.

“When I saw his picture, and he looked so ratty, I thought that we already had a trailer going down, and we had funds to add him on, but that the stars would really have align to get him up on this load,” she says.

Doubting she could get it all arranged in time, Strauss called on her friend Shelly Grantham Riley, who agreed to make a special trip for him and the other horses for quarantine, and then reached out to Georganne Hale, vice president of Maryland Racing, and willing friend who helped grease the wheels. Hale is the creator of the Totally Thoroughbred Show at Pimlico, and was happy to pick up the phone to help.

“I knew he’d raced at Evangeline and that Georganne” could be very helpful in getting all necessary health certificates and Coggins reports, she says. “And the stars really all did align, and he loaded on the trailer.”

In the weeks since his rescue, A Miracle’s On has proved such an agreeable animal, that when it came time to re-think horses the charity would show at the well-known Thoroughbred Makeover Project in Kentucky (this) month, he sprang immediately to mind, she says.

Already he is proving to be an “uncomplicated” ride.

Already he is proving to be an “uncomplicated” ride.

“We’d originally entered five horses in the show, but three were adopted, and one we decided not to bring. So I looked around my field and was looking for horses who were ready to start training,” she says, noting that the unassuming young gelding seemed perfect. At 15.2 hands and in a growth spurt, A Miracle’s On deserves this chance to be seen in a better light, she says.

His rescue, and that of the three other Bastrop kill pen horses MidAtlantic Horse Rescue acquired, was made possible by an unexpected donation from friends and family of well-known executive Stephen Racioppo, whose obituary requested donations to MidAtlantic Horse Rescue. “We understand that Stephen loved horses and because of his passion, we received donations from as far away as England and California,” she says.

Strauss adds, “We had the funds to purchase these horses thanks to the many friends of Steve Racioppo’s, but no way to get them north,” she says. “It was an amazing effort by (MidAtlantic Horse Rescue’s) many friends and supporters, to raise enough money to ship these horses north. We could never have rescued the 3+1 without EVERYONE rallying to help! Shelly Grantham Riley picked the first three up and quarantined them, and then made a special trip back to get this guy in time for the ride north. We really appreciate what everyone did for these four deserving guys!” — Originally published Sept. 16, 2015. Look for a followup on A Miracle’s On very soon.

8 responses to “A ‘miracle’ he got out of Bastrop, La. kill pen”

  1. Peg French

    I wish this rescue for all horses that paid their dues thru racing, breeding And all other jobs they hold and all breeds, cowponies and draft horses alike. Also the innocent throwaway babies of Premarin and nurse mares.

  2. Tonya LaFarr

    3 years old just to be discarded by someone who obviously had
    A sick heart. He is such a pretty boy, a BIG thank you to those who saved him from Bastrop.

    Shame on the people who bred, sell and race these horses only to discard them into auction house when they can’t make anymore $$ but yet they can become a new hero in many other disciplines.

    1. Carolyn McDonald

      Only a very small percentage of ex-racehorses end up in a good home. The vast majority end up in the slaughterhouse.

  3. Carolyn McDonald

    SHAME on the horseracing industry.

  4. Astrid Virtanen

    Thanks for rescuing this gem from Bastrop. Despite the controversy about rescuing from kill pens, a life saved is indeed a life and makes a difference. Too many “Thoroughbred athlete” rescues criticize us that rescue from these concentration camps. They should be ashamed!

  5. gerda silver

    I am THRILLED he got out of that notorious hell hole!!!! Lucky boy!

  6. Nancy Specht

    Only three years old, clean legs — how in the hell can someone think it’s okay to just throw him away?? It hurts to know that people like that exist, but thank goodness so many miracles aligned to deliver him into the right hands. I’m certainly lookingforward for an update as to how he’s doing.

  7. Cheri

    Wow, he looks SO much better ALREADY!!!!!! Long live MO and his connections, who are truly folks that make miracles happen.

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